MANILA, Philippines – Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena secured a Tokyo 2020 Olympics berth in a golden performance at the 2019 Salto Con L’asta in Chiari, Italy on Tuesday, September 3 (Wednesday, September 4, Philippine time).
Obiena smashed his own Philippine record as he cleared 5.81m that also surpassed the Olympic entry standard of 5.80m.
“Finally I have done what I set out to do and this is not just my efforts. It’s a lot of people who contributed and made this happen and this is why this make it so sweet,” Obiena told Rappler after becoming the first Filipino to qualify in the Tokyo edition.
The 23-year-old also attempted the height of 5.93m to eclipse the all-time Asian record of 5.92m held by Kazakhstan’s Igor Potapovich.
The pole vault star missed out on the 2017 edition of the regional biennial meet after sustaining an ACL injury a day before leaving for Kuala Lumpur. (Back to zero: EJ Obiena gears up for pole vault comeback) – Rappler.com